ORNL Growth Spurs Expansion
The $1.5 billion ORNL Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge, Tenn., has announced plans to build a new building, renovate another to accommodate growth in a mortgage CUSO, and to allow for a new branch.
“We always look for ways to better serve and bring enhanced value to our members and employees. This includes the opportunity to enhance or expand our branch and office facilities,” said Chris Johnson, president/CEO. “There are a number of people, including our dedicated staff and volunteer board members, who have helped make these projects a reality.”
The new building will be what the credit union calls a “regional center” and will be built to accommodate growth in CU Community, a primarily housing finance CUSO that provides a wide range of mortgage services and secondary market services for 21 credit unions, Johnson explained.
It also provides insurance services for ORNL only, but the credit union is hoping to expand those services to other credit unions as well, he said.
The new center is planned to be a three-story, 24,000-square foot facility, which will become the home office for the CUSO, moving it from space that it currently leases.
The new building will also include a “branch of the future” for members that will also include a state-of-the-art work environment for employees, Johnson added.
In addition, the credit union's corporate headquarters and main branch will undergo significant changes.
“We have purchased a lot right next door and that will house the renovated branch that is currently in this building,” Johnson said. “This will allow us to adopt the campus approach that we favor.”
“Making ORNL Federal Credit Union a great place to work is a priority. Great work environments that foster creativity, innovation and collaboration align well with the goals of the credit union. We made these decisions with significant thought to the careful balance of operational costs and enhanced benefit to the membership,” added Johnson.
The credit union was founded in 1948 to serve the employees of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Department of Energy facility. In 2003, it adopted a community charter that includes the 16 counties that are considered the East Tennessee region, Johnson explained.